By David Hunter
The race begins with a 13.4km team time trial.
The route is nice and flat but it’s technical.
There are a lot of 90 degree turns, so teams will have to be well organised as well as powerful.
Team Sky would normally be considered favourites for this stage but they arrive with only 6 riders, rather than the 8 permitted. They have Wiggins, Cataldo, Deignan, Boswell, Puccio and Siutsou. It’s laughable that a team with their money arrive at this race 2 men down, and it seriously hampers their chances in this stage.
This gives Movistar a serious advantage. They arrive with Malori and Dowsett along with a few other big engines. With no OPQS and Orica, they stand a great chance of winning the opening stage. In Tirreno they were 3rd in the TTT behind the 2 powerhouses of the discipline, but with a stronger team. They finished 9 seconds ahead of Team Sky, who had a full and better team.
Cadel Evans and BMC won’t want to lose too much time, but they don’t have the strongest team and could find themselves around 5th place. Most of the team will also ride the Giro and it opens with a TTT. They have spoken about wanting to do a good ride and Evans will want to remain close to the others.
Lampre-Merida delivered an excellent 3rd place in 2013 and will hope to repeat this as will Team NetApp – Endura, who finished 4th in 2013.
Astana return without Vincenzo Nibali and this will impact on their TTT performance. They were 2nd in 2013 but without Nibali, it will take a massive effort to finish in the top 3 this year.
Of the smaller teams, Rusvelo are worth keeping an eye on. They finished 2nd, behind Sky, in the Coppi e Bartali TTT, although that race splits into teams of 4.
Prediction … Movistar
Related: Mauro Finetto: ”I will be at Trentino in preparation for the Giro”:http://www.ciclismointernacional.com/mauro-finetto-i-will-be-at-trentino-in-preparation-for-the-giro-ditalia/ …
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